Englische Publikationen

Henry Chadwick

Augustine of Hippo. A Life

Oxford: Oxford University Press 2010,XX, 177 p.
978-0-19-958806-0

The life and works of Augustine of Hippo (354-430) have shaped the development of the Christian Church, sparking controversy and influencing the ideas of theologians through subsequent centuries. Augustine’s journey from schoolboy and student to Bishop and champion of Western Christendom in a period of intense political upheaval, is recounted with clarity and warmsth by the acclaimed church historian, the late Professor Henry Chadwick.

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François Decret

Early Christianity in North Africa

Eugene, OR: Cascade Books 2009, XII, 228 p.
ISBN 978-1-55635-692-6

Along with the churches located in large Greek cities of the East, the church of Carthage was particularly significant in the early centuries of Christian history. Initially, the Carthaginian church became known for its martyrs. Later, the North African church became further established and unified through the regular councils of its bishops. Finally, the church gained a reputation for its outstanding leaders – Tertullian of Carthage (c. 140-220), Cyprian of Carthage (195-258), and Augustine of Hippo (354-430) – African leaders who continued to be celebrated and remembered today.

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Paul R. Kolbet

Augustine and the Cure of Souls. Revising a Classical Ideal

Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press 2010, XVIII, 342 p.
(Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity Series, 17) ISBN 978-0-268-03321-7

The study situates Augustine within the ancient philosophical tradition of using words to order emotions. Paul Kolbet uncovers a profound continuity in Augustine’s thought, from his earliest pre-baptismal writings to his final acts as bishop, revealing a man deeply indebted to the Roman past and yet distinctly Christian. Rather than supplanting his classical learning, Augustine’s Christianity reinvigorated precisely those elements of Roman wisdom that he believed were slipping into decadence. In particular, Kolbet addresses the manner in which Augustine not only used classical rhetorical theory to express his theological vision, but also infused it with theological content.

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Philip Rousseau

Ascetics, Authority, and the Church in the Age of Jerome and Cassian

Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press 2010, XXXVIII, 278 p. (Second Edition)
ISBN 978-0-268-04029-1

The author presents a survey of asceticism in the western church until about 400, including a selective study of Jerome, and then, moving into the fifth century, a reading of Sulpicius and Cassian. Rousseau explores such societal changes as the eventual triumph of the coenobitic movement and its growing effect within the church, not least on the episcopate. He focuses primarily on the development among ascetics of a certain concept of spiritual authority; on the attraction of that concept for a wider audience; and on its enduring formulation within a literary tradition of great influence.
For this second edition, Rousseau has supplied a new introduction, with extensive bibliographical references.

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Lloyd Gerson (Ed.)

The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity

Cambridge: University Press 2010, 2 vols. (XIII + VI, 1284 p.)
ISBN 978-0-521-87642-1

The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity comprises over forty specially commissioned essays by experts on the philosophy of the period 200-800 CE. ... The contributors examine philosophy as it entered literature, science and religion, and offer new and extensive assessments of philosophers who until recently have been mostly ignored. The volume also includes a complete digest of all philosophical works known to have been written during this period.

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Franz Posset

The Real Luther: A Friar at Erfurt and Wittenberg . Exploring Luther's life with Melanchthon as guide

St. Louis, MO : Concordia Pub. House 2011, XXII, 195 p.
978-0-7586-2685-1

This work is a masterpiece of a subtle, thorough, and deep reaching presentation of well known sources. Many points have been explored, even more have been brought to light by just following an incorruptibly thorough method of historical analysis. The book is a very welcome contribution to the newly arisen discussion about Luther’s reformation breakthrough, his reception of patristic and medieval thought, and finally a wonderful survey of recent dialogues about Luther’s posting of the theses to the door of the Palace Church in Wittenberg. Franz Posset analyzes the sources meticulously while never loosing contact with the most recent research. Students and researches should read this book as a model for how to do Reformation History (Markus Wriedt).
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György Heidl

Origen's Influence on the Young Augustine. A Chapter of the History of Origenism

Louaize: The University of Notre Dame/Gorgias Press, 2003, XIV, 328 p.
(Eastern Christian Studies, 3) ISBN 1-59333-079-0

The study provides a new unprecedented analysis of Augustine’s early career, including his celebrated conversion and the theology of his early writings. The author re-interprets Augustine’s early accounts of his conversion and comes to a conclusion which runs counter to the general scholarly view. The main thesis of the book argues that as early as the first phase of Augustine’s activity (386-393 AD), he made use of some Origenian works, and basic elements of his early theology were derived from the Alexandrian master. The author provides an analysis of Augustine’s first exegetical work, De genesi contra manichaeos, and argues for the possibility that a Latin compilation of Origen’s understanding of Genesis existed and was used by Latin authors of the fourth century.

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Peter Norton

Episcopal Elections 250-600. Hierarchy and Popular Will in Late Antiquity

Oxford: University Press 2011 (Reprint), XI, 271 p.
(Oxford Classical Monographs) ISBN 978-0-19-920747-3

The study examines the way in which bishops were chosen and appointed in the late Roman empire. ... Contrary to the conventional view, Peter Norton argues that the local community continued to be an important factor in the choice of bishops throughout the empire post-Constantine. At a time when all other forms of democratic election had long been in abeyance, the choice of the bishop was the sole remaining way in which local communities could exert any influence on the choice of an important office-holder. Given the increasing importance of the bishop in the governance of late Roman cities, this means that we need to fundamentally change our view on the lack of democracy in the later empire. The topics covered include the introduction and development of legislation for the conduct of elections; the manner in which the populace made its voice heard; the role of the emperor and other secular officials in the choice of bishios, particularly in the larger sees; the impact of the emergent hierarchy in the regulation of elections; corruption and nepotism; and the phenomenon of ‚reluctance‘ on the part of candidates.

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Robert A. Markus

Christianity and the Secular

Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press 2006, XI, 99 p.
(Blessed Pope John XXIII Lecture Series in Theology and Culture) ISBN 978-0-268-03491-7

At a time when the proper boundaries between the sacred and the secular are contested as never before, Robert Markus offers a subtle and persuasive analysis of the roots of this distinction in early Christian theology, including especially but not only the writings of Augustine. He argues that the idea of a secular realm of this-worldly practices and concerns, legitimate and independent on its own terms, is Christian in origin and can be defended on theological grounds. At the same time, he also shows that this theological conception of a secular realm need not lead to ‚thin‘ liberalism or to an excessively individualistic view of society. He thus takes issue with leading strands of patristic scholarship ... as well as engaging with a number of theologians who have recently argued that the secular realm is at best a necessary evil. The resulting work is a historically grounded, theologically sophisticated defense of the proper autonomy of secular public life, its autonomy from religious control, and its place as a legitimate sphere for Christian activity.

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Jacob Albert van den Berg

Biblical Argument in Manichaean Missionary Practice. The Case of Adimantus and Augustine

Leiden u.a.: Brill 2010, XII, 239 p.
(Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, 70) ISBN 978-90-04-18034-5

The use and appreciation of Scripture by the Manichaeans is a field of research whith many unanswered questions. This study offers an investigation into the role of the Bible in the writings of the important Manichaean missionary Addas Adimantus (flor. ca. 250 CE), one of Mani’s first disciples. A major part of the book is dedicated to the reconstruction of the contents of his Disputationes, in which writing Adimantus attempted to demonstrate that the Old and New Testaments are absolutely irreconcilable. The most important source in this connection is Augustine, who refuted a Latin translation of Adimantus‘ work. A thorough analysis of the contents of the Dispuationes brings to the fore  that Adimantus was a Marcionite prior to his going over to Mani’s church.

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Cyprian of Carthage. Studies in His Life, Language, and Thought

edited by Henk Bakker, Paul van Geest and Hans van Loon

Leuven u.a.: Peeters 2010, XX, 307 p.
(Late Antique History and Religion, 3) ISBN 978-90-429-2397-3

Up to Augustine, bishop Cyprian of Carthage was the theological authority in the West, and he has continued to influence theology ever since. This book is the result of a symposium on this Church Father held by the Centre for Patristic Research (CPO), which is an initiative of VU University Amsterdam and Tilburg University. The symposium was held on the occasion of the 1750th anniversary of his martyrdom, which took place on 14 September 258. The contributions cover Cyprian’s biography, hermeneutical and philological questions, theological issues such as baptism and the role of the laity in episcopal elections, and the reception of the Church Father’s texts in ancient and modern times.

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Rationality from Saint Augustine to Saint Anselm. Proceedings of the International Anselm Conference, Piliscsaba (Hungary) 20-23 June 2002

Edited by Coloman Viola and Joseph Kormos

Piliscsaba: Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Humanities 2005, 321 p.
ISBN 963-9206-11-3

From the very beginning, Ancient Christian authors tried in various ways to approach Mysteries of the Christian faith with the power of human reason. They did nothing in this but follow the recommendations of the Holy Scripture. In the Latin Christian Literature Saint Augustine had an important role in furthering rational approach of the faith with human mind. Rationality was therefore present in analysing and understanding of the Mysteries. Eminent scholars from Europe, Japan and United States present in this volume a historical survey of the developing of Rationality and of the use of reasons through the ages until the invention and the practice of the new, exclusively rational method of Saint Anselm – the sola ratione – that announces in the XIth century the future method of modern Western Philosophies. Although Anselm is claiming paradoxically the authority of Augustine in his methodological endeavour, nevertheless he surpasses the boundaries of Augustine’s intention.

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Everett Ferguson

Baptism in the Early Church. History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries

Grand Rapids, Michigan / Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans 2009, XXII, 953 p., Ill.
ISBN 978-0-8028-2748-7

This magisterial volume is a comprehensive survey of the doctrine and practice of baptism in the first five centuries of Christian history, arranged geographically within chronological periods. Baptism in the Early Church covers the antecedents to Christian baptism and traces the history of Christian doctrine and practice from the New Testament through the writings of the church fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries. The book deals primarily with the literary sources, though it also gives attention to depictions of baptism (primarily of Jesus) in various art forms and to the surviving baptismal fonts.

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Thomas P. Scheck

Origen and the History of Justification. The Legacy of Origen's Commentary on Romans.Foreword by Joseph T. Lienhard

Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press 2008, XI, 297 S.
ISBN 978-0-268-04128-1

Standard accounts of the history of interpretation of Paul’s Letter to the Romans often begin with St. Augustine. As Thomas P. Scheck demonstrates, however, the Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 CE) was a major work of Pauline exegesis which, by means of the Latin translation preserved in the West, had a significant influence on the Christian exegetical tradition.
Scheck begins by exploring Origen’s view on justification and on the intimate connection of faith and postbaptismal good works as essential to justification. He traces the enormous influence Origen’s Commentray on Romans had on later theologians in the Latin West, including the ways in which theologians often appropriated Origen’s exegesis in their own work. Scheck analyzes in particular the reception of Origen by Pelagius, Augustine, William of St. Thierry, Erasmus, Cornelius Jansen, the Anglican bishop Richard Montagu, and the Catholic lay apologist John Heigham, as well as Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, and other Protestant Reformers who harshly attacked Origen’s interpretation as fatally flawed. But as Scheck shows, theologians through the post-Reformation controversies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries studied and engaged Origen extensively, even if not always in agreement.

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Alexander Evers

Church, Cities, and People. A Study of the Plebs in the Church and Cities of Roman Africa in Late Antiquity

Leuven/Walpole, MA: Peeters 2010, XIV, 367 p.
(Interdisciplinary Studies in Ancient Culture and Religion, 11) ISBN 978-90-429-2206-8

This book is a study of various aspects of live in the cities of Roman Africa. It focuses on the position and the role of the plebs, first of all within the Church, and secondly within the Church’s secular environment. It argues that the people, as presented in the writings of Cyprian of Carthage, Optatus of Melivis, and Augustine of Hippo, were still active and important within the framework of both ecclesiastical and municipal life in third-, fourth-, and fifth-century North Africa. At the centre of this argument is the conviction that the political and social structures in secular society were still intact, and that the structures within the Church were modelled on those within Roman society. As a consequence, the Church and the writings on the Church function as a mirror of the world at large, particularly when archaeology and epigraphy substantiate the image presented (Introduction, p. 1).

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Éric Rebillard

The Care of the Dead in Late Antiquity

Ithaca u.a.: Cornell University Press 2009, XIII, 224 p.
(Cornell Studies in Classical Philology) ISBN 978-0-8014-4677-1

In this provocative book Éric Rebillard challenges many long-held assumptions about early Christian burial customs. For decades scholars of early Christianity have argued that the Church owned and operated burial grounds for Christians as early as the third century. Through a careful reading of primary sources including legal codes, theological works, epigraphical inscriptions, and sermons, Rebillard shows that there is little evidence to suggest that Christians occupied exclusive or isolated burial grounds in this early period.
In the preparation of Christians for burial, it was usually next of kin and not representatives of the Church who were responsible for what form of rite would be celebrated, and evidence from inscriptions and tombstones shows that for the most part Christians didn’t separate themselves from non-Christians when burying their dead. ... it would not be until the early Middle Ages that the Church gained control over burial practices and that »Christian cemeteries« became common.

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